Thursday, January 8, 2009

Obama to take on Social Security?

The papers are full of stories today indicating that President-elect Obama looks to address entitlement spending as he takes office amidst record federal budget deficits. The New York Times reports on a press even Obama conducted yesterday, saying that "Obama Promises Bid to Overhaul Retiree Spending," saying that

"President-elect Barack Obama said Wednesday that overhauling Social Security and Medicare would be 'a central part' of his administration's efforts to contain federal spending, signaling for the first time that he would wade into the thorny politics of entitlement programs."

Obama provided no details of his plans for entitlements, but said his proposed budget in February would have more to say on the subject.

This could be pretty significant. On one hand, I and many others were critical of Obama's policy stand on Social Security during the election, as his proposed "solution" – a 2 to 4 percent payroll surtax on earnings over $250,000 – would address only around 15 percent of the long-term deficit. Meanwhile, Obama had ruled out any other changes to benefits, taxes, or the retirement age. This didn't give him much room to put together a plausible reform plan.

But the current and projected fiscal situation, with multi-trillion dollar deficit leading into the crush of Baby Boom entitlement spending increases, should mean that past positions should be reconsidered. If Obama and has staff – which includes Social Security experts Peter Orszag and Jason Furman – are rethinking how to address Social Security and looking to move it toward the front burner, that's to be commended. They may have a challenge in convincing Congressional Democrats to go along, but projected deficits are so large that their chances of doing so may be improved.

The challenge for Republicans will be to resist the temptation to demagogue and attack rather than to work together toward a solution. This temptation understandably will be strong, given that demagoguery and attacks were produced in spades by many Congressional Democrats during the 2005 reform debate. But the goal here is solutions. If President Obama is willing to do his part, those on the right should do theirs.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

If Obama does NOT take on SSI-Supplemental Security Income and SSP-State Supplemental Program (in California/SSI gets an additional check from State) at $907 per Individual & $1,560.
Nor' if Obama does not do a 'means test' on the SSI/SSP's that own extravigent homes, yet get 95% of their Property Taxes back in October each year, and PAYS ZERO TAXES. And, never has to work a single day in their lives. And, CAN collect by saying they are Depressed or have Anxiety from being a Tweeker Meth Addict or Alcoholic.
I'm reading all over the internet that everything should be bombarded upon the greedy Seniors.
Why? A Boomer probably worked 40+ years in FICA, Federal & State & Medicare taxes to get something back when they are too old to keep on keeping on!
Yet, a foreigner from say, China and his wife can get dumped off outside a SSA Office and Apply & Qualify for SSI & SSP at $1,560 a month in California, plus Section 8, plus MediCal/MediCAID, MediCARE Part 'D', free office visits, free Dental & Dentures, free Vision and eyeglasses or contacts, get the picture?
So, if they can get this free because they are 65 or over.
Or, any foreign person can waltz into the US with a Sponsor and Apply & Qualify for SSI & SSP at $907 with fringe benefits and Never Work here or Never Pay Any Taxes Here, then why is the BIG deal about SS & Medicare.
SSI & SSP is Number 3 right under Medicare & SSI/SSP's GET FREE MediCARE Part 'D' they pay No Premiums, No Co-Pay, No Medicine fees No EMS frees, NOTHING.
The only thing an SSI/SSP pays for is Sales tax on Taxable items, and 5% of their Property Taxes.
Is this guy Obama going to do something about that?
Is he aware tha illegals are just waiting for legalization to run to every SSA Office and line up to Apply & Qualify for SSI & SSP!!
He better look at the Swelling and Ballooning SSI/SSP receipients.
Look around on the 1st at the Placards hanging from rear view mirrors and on plates. Think they all worked for their living?
WRONG...They don't ever have to have worked.
Think they are all pitiful sick and ill? WRONG, most are in the largest 'Mental OTHER' catagory, for Depression, ADD, ADHD, or Anxiety, or morbid obesity from getting paid to sit and eat.
SSDI's worked a certain amount of 'Credits' and paid into Social Security for Years and Years.
Social Security elderly worked and paid.
But, the real problem lies with the fraud and cheaters that get onto SSI/SSP and stay there because there is NO follow-ups other than a piece of paper mailed out every 10 years and they lie on them all the time.
They can sit on their computers chatting all day, yet cannot get paid to do 'Data Entry'?
I don't think so. I watch them get massivly expensive wheelchairs then turn round' and re-sell them on Craigslist for a few cool thousand and go to Reno and the Casinos with the money.
Look at the Dive Bars, see the same people. Do they all look real old or maybe 30's 40's and happy as clams?
They are on SSI/SSP and know how to cheat the system, and STAY for the rest of their lives on SSI/SSP.
And, the stats show most of them own their homes/Free & Clear.